This is the tradition to start the article with some history and technical information so I do n ot want to breake the rule and here they are.
The FV4034 Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank (MBT) designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems. It is in service with the armies of the United Kingdom (since 1998 and it is expected to be in service until 2035) and Oman.
The Challenger 2 is equipped with a 120-millimetre 55-calibre long L30A1 tank gun, the successor to the L11 gun used on the Chieftain and Challenger 1. Unique among NATO main battle tank armament, the L30A1 is rifled, because the British Army continues to place a premium on the use of High-explosive squash head (HESH) rounds in addition to armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot rounds. The Challenger 2 is also armed with a 7.62 mm chain gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun. Fifty eight main armament rounds and 4,200 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition are carried.
As I remember I always like the look of Challenger 2, espesially in desert version with the long rubber curains on the sides. The make the vehicle so massive and impressive so I decided to build this one someday. Fortunately friend of mine wanted to sell his kit for very good price. It was almost ready and needs only some small portion of work. I bought it and started to finish as soon as it arrived my home.
Truly speaking the kit is huge. I know it is big but in reality it was bigger than I expected. Awesome!
The kit is the standard quality of Tamiya. This is the words which explains everything for each modeller who though once build their kit. The sand coloured plastic along with clear parts are enough to make you smile after the box is open. The vinyl tracks are also good. To complete the list I need to mention about the poly caps, some nylon cord, coper wire, plastic card, a pair of nuts and bolts for idler arms and a sheet of decals with options for 3 vehicles seen during Telic operation.
So, now what I wanted to achieve was the dusted vehicle with some additional stuff but not to much because it was really hard to attach the crew’s stuff on the flat surfaces of the tank. Before I started to paint the kit I collected some basic stuff I wish to compose on the model. To add some markings I have the sheet from the kit and some additional decals from Bison Models which were also helpful because I decided to mix them and breake the one shade of the vehicle with colorful additions. I also wanted to present the kit on some simple base - just black plastic top and wooden (balsa) frame with the pictures and some name. I added the Union Jack sticker too.
Components of the project
Despite the kit is very good I decide and have the possibility to make so changes. First I replace the vinyl tracks for the separate links from Bronco (AB 3523). Next I used couple parts from Voyager’s PE set (one of their first – the quality was far away from current products they offer), some Eureka XXL metal ropes (the endings were taken from the kit) and resin tarpaulins. The rest of the elements were scratch build – I based on the references pictures I managed to find in the internet.
Well, one of my favourite tanks were added to the „done kits” list. It was pleasure to build it and finish in dust. It is a really good part of the collection because of its size and final layout. I hope that it was not my last modern British vehicle!